It's another gloomy Monday morning, and that means it's back to the salt mines (or air conditioned office, or whatever). Let us brighten your day a little with some inexpensive apps and games. It is literally the absolute least we can do.
Ever since we saw the initial demo of NVIDIA's game streaming technology on the SHIELD, we wondered when we could try it out with other Android devices. NVIDIA is jealously guarding its exclusive for now, but XDA Developers poster Cameron Gutman (cgutman) has created an app that duplicates SHIELD's functionality, allowing gamers to try their hand at streaming from a compatible GeForce-equipped gaming PC with any Android 4.1 or better device.
For a root user, there's nothing more frustrating than being denied access to an app simply because they've rooted their own phone or tablet. Of course, since it's rooted, there's probably a root app for that. RootCloak has been a reliable way to get around these content and functionality blocks, and now developer DevAdvance has posted a new version that should work with even more applications.
RootCloak Plus uses Cydia Substrate instead of the Xposed Framework that the original tool was based on.
After T-Mobile introduced the Jump early upgrade program last year, the other national carriers scrambled to create their own versions. Sprint was the last to deploy its take on the early upgrade, called One Up, but it has apparently decided that wasn't such a good idea. Sprint quietly killed the One Up on January 9th, suggesting the new Framily Plans are the way to go.
Like other annual upgrade plans, One Up promised customers no down payments on a new financed device.
Rarely does the first leaked firmware update for a flagship phone end up being exactly what rolls out to users, but that appears to be the case for the recently leaked KitKat ROM for the Note 3. Android 4.4.2 (N9005XXUENA6) is appearing in Poland through Kies right now, and the version number matches the leak from this weekend.
Samsung made a few notable tweaks in KitKat for the Note 3, just like it did for the ROM for the Galaxy S4 leaked a few days earlier.
If you've got a Qualcomm-powered, international Galaxy Note 3 and an appreciation for up-to-date software, you might want to check out the latest official leaked ROM from SamMobile. They've posted a purported test build for the KitKat 4.4.2 update of the Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (that's the Snapdragon 800 model with LTE bands). This leak comes just two days after the Android 4.4 build for the Galaxy S4.
Changes include all the usual KitKat goodies, plus a tweaked TouchWiz visual theme (with white battery, service, Wifi, clock, etc.
The reviews for apps on the Play Store are important, not just for potential users, but for developers and publishers as well: scores during the first few weeks of availability can make or break a new service or game. This being the case, it's disheartening to see a new trend among Play Store reviews: attention-seeking reviewers that give an app one star just so that their review will show up higher on the app's page.
If Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music All Access, Rdio, Rhapsody, or any of the other streaming music services just haven't been able to deliver the experience you're looking for, make way for the newcomer to the scene: Beats Music. It's launching January 21st with support for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile (aside from the desktop, of course), and actually brings a couple of features that the other guys should pay attention to.
Schemer, Google's niche quasi-social network for sharing all the things you want to do in life, is being shut down. Since launching over 2 years ago, it has struggled to find a user base, new features were few and far between, and the app itself was only updated a handful of times. For those unaware of how Schemer works, the idea is pretty simple. You use it to list things you want to do, and mingle with other people who either want to do the same thing or have already done it.